During the summer of 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, the U.S. women’s gymnastics team was competing with countries like Russia, Switzerland, and China, to name a few, for the chance to earn an Olympic gold medal that summer. A few veterans, sprinkled in with a few newcomers, looked to make the U.S. proud. The stage was set, and a star was born.
Simone Biles was born in Columbus, Ohio, but ended up in foster care after her mother was unable to care for her and her siblings. Her grandfather adopted and moved her to Houston, Texas, where she was introduced to the world of gymnastics. By 2012, Biles had begun homeschooling to focus on her training regimen.
Biles won five medals in Rio, with four of them being gold. She set the record for the most gold medals won by an American in women’s gymnastics at a single Olympic Games. This was also the first time that a female gymnast won quadruple gold medals since Ecaterina Szabo of Romania did so in 1984. For Biles, this was just one of the many highlights she’s had in her gymnastics career.
She began her career as a senior elite gymnast in 2013 when she competed at the American Cup. In late 2013, Biles traveled to Antwerp, Belgium, to compete in the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships (WAGC). At this competition, she won four medals total, taking home two gold in the all-around competition and the floor exercise.
The following two seasons, Biles headed back to the WAGC, where she completely dominated the field by taking home eight gold medals, one silver medal and one bronze medal before rising to stardom at the 2016 Olympics.
After her performance, she was nominated for and won the ESPY Award for Best Female Athlete in 2017. Biles then took a break from gymnastics to focus on writing her autobiography.
Since the 2016 Olympics, Biles has been competing at the WAGC, where she has earned 12 medals and nine gold medals. This solidifies Biles as one of the best and brightest stars of the U.S. gymnastics team.
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics are approaching rapidly, and you can be certain that the 22-year-old Biles will be the leader of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, building her legacy as one of the most decorated U.S. Olympians of all time.